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lindseycholmes

small business Shared Notebooks: How do you use them?

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i don't use shared notebooks, because i don't want to move my notes into other notebooks for that purpose. i like to have everything in one place.

i sure wish we had shared tags :)

anyhow, i like the shared notebooks you have collected on your site. hopefully, that will provide some inspiration.

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Re the notes - What about making copies? Re the shared tags - if you share a note, your tags would remain in the end user's shared notebook. Is this what you mean? What would be cool is the shared experience being seamless. In the account view.

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re copied notes, it is difficult to keep the content consistent with multiple copies of the same note.

re shared tags, i mean that i would like to see tags gain the same functionality as shared notebooks. in other words, all notes with a tag would be shared just like we do with a notebook, except we would not have to create a separate notebook for it. this would benefit users who use tags to organize their work.

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Wait Grump, tags aren't shared across notebooks when you link? I never thought about that I guess... Hmm. That's a great point! I think shared notebooks will be a great level of development for Evernote in the near future. We also need an alert system for new notes. They'll get to it. Re the copied notes, I still use my shared notebooks the same as I would a private. So I don't really mind having the one copy. Maybe for you, you can simply share what you can afford to share. I really like the shared notebooks for marketing, content (making Evernote a pseudo-blog). I love the fact that you can select which content you want to be in your personal workspace. It's like email that's not annoying. :)

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hi lindsey.

what i meant is that i would like to see a feature that would let us (for example), right-click on a tag, select "share tag", and indicate who we want to share that tag with. By making the tags shared (instead of sharing a notebook), we avoid having to move notes around to different notebooks and we can (for example) have one note shared with several different groups of users. notes with my profile might get shared with everyone using the shared tag "public" and notes about my research might use the shared tag "research", and only go out to a few people, but none of my notes would have to be squirreled away into different notebooks (the current system).

anyhow, that is a wish, and if wishes were fishes...

i agree that shared notebooks offer a lot of possibilities, and it is exciting to see how you are putting them to work.

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Oh! Something my limiting brain couldn't fathom. :) Great idea! Great post on David Allen's blog by the way. Can I or do you want to repost on the forum?

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Oh! Something my limiting brain couldn't fathom. :) Great idea! Great post on David Allen's blog by the way. Can I or do you want to repost on the forum?

lol. glad you like the idea. just a thought. it would certainly be nice if we could have the "shared tags" feature. i'll keep poking until i find it in a beta someday :)

did i post on david allen's blog? please repost so that i can see!

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USING EVERNOTE AS A PAPERLESS POLICY/PROCEDURE MANUAL

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

Policies are the highest-level guidance existing in an organization. Policies describe either the entity's core operational principles or specify a broad course of action. Policies differ from procedures in that the latter specifies the steps required to achieve policy. Think about the function of the U.S. Constitution which describes the broad policies under which the Federal government operates. Contrast the Constitution with Federal Law which implements the policies contained within the Constitution.

For example, one policy which all organizations must have is a statement that the organization will not discriminate. In addition to the policy statement, the organization should list the specific steps ("procedures") to ensure it is not discriminating against the protected classes of employees (or clients/customers).

Procedures vary widely among organizations and, many times, within a single organization. If an organization operates in different states, for example, different laws could apply; therefore, the organization might need separate procedures for each of its facilities. Some states follow the Federal guidelines in defining the so-called "protected classes" (those classes of employees which can legally make a discrimination claim), while other states expand on the Federal Law and include other protected classes. The Federal minimum wage laws, similarly, are often expanded by the State.

Similarly, some states require an employer to pay its employees for the time off work to vote in elections. Other states consider time required to vote as unpaid leave. In this example, the policy should state that the employer supports employees who need time-off from work in order to vote, but the procedure (the steps required to achieve the policy) will vary due to the state employed, shift schedules, and the like.

Many organizations choose to include a policy stating that its financial statements will be presented in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. However, there should also be a listing of procedures required to achieve that goal. Policies against workplace harassment, vacation time, and company-observed holidays will likewise be supplemented by more-detailed procedure statements.

In larger organizations, or those controlled by a Board of Directors, the Board or top-level Management often establishes the policies, leaving the procedures (steps required to achieve those policies) to be written and implemented by lower-level executives or managers. Well-written policies should rarely need changing or updating, but procedures might be updated more frequently.

Dividing the organization's policies from its procedures helps the executives or top-level managers focus on broad objectives, the "big picture," and helps eliminate the tendency of upper-level management to micro-manage. The most successful organizations employ executives and top-level managers who focus on achieving long-term goals and broad objectives -- including the "policies" -- and delegate the implementation of "procedures" to lower-level managers.

The organization's policies should be broad and applicable across-the-board to all employees (or, in some cases, the organization's customers, clients, etc.). Should there ever be need to write a "policy" which is not applicable to everyone in the organization (limited to professional drivers, or accountants, or sales persons, for example), that "policy" is better classified as a "procedure."

In addition to a Policy Manual and Procedure Manual(s), some companies may require a Human Resource Manual to help employees understand what services the HR Department offers, or an Employee Benefit Manual, or specific manuals describing how to accomplish a particular job within the organization.

Footnotes at the end of each policy and procedure statement are always useful, especially over time. Staff will change; laws change. Some policies will become outdated. It is always helpful to have ample footnotes describing which Law or Board decision the policy is addressing, the name of the person who wrote the policy, the date(s) the policy was written, approved by the Board or Management, or the effective date of the policy and the dates and by whom the policy was modified. Helpful as well would be the habit of using footnotes to cross-reference procedures to the controlling policy, or vice-versa.

Finally, the most successful companies are those whose policies are relevant, presented in a written form, readily accessible and frequently relied upon as guidance in day-to-day decision-making. Even the best-written policy manual, when filed away on a shelf in the executive office suite, will accomplish absolutely nothing.

IMPLEMENTING A PAPERLESS POLICY MANUAL USING EVERNOTE

With cross-platform implementation, cloud-based storage, extreme flexibility, and universal access, Evernote software is uniquely positioned to accomplish the tasks of developing, implementing, and maintaining the various policy and procedure manuals necessary within a successful organization. Data may be accessed through desktop computers, laptops, cellphones and tablet computers. Developing organizational manuals on Evernote consumes no paper nor ink -- but the manuals can be easily printed by any user, even at remote locations, when required.

Polices and procedures can be organized in a single notebook (or multiple notebooks) then subsequently shared (via an emailed link) to those employees who have need to access the policies. Use a single notebook if all employees should have access to all documents in that notebook, or use multiple notebooks to control which employees have access to particular documents.

(Individual notes may also be "shared" but that "sharing" is in a different sense -- it means the note may be emailed or otherwise transmitted by the user. The note-level sharing function has nothing to do with the notebook-level sharing -- which provides security and allows the user to access or change the policy database.)

At time of sharing, the organization can decide whether to require the employee to utilize an Evernote account to access the data (which provides greater security), or access the data via a direct link. Requiring the employee to use an Evernote account seems to be the preferred implementation, allowing employees to attach the shared notebook to their own personal database (making it more-easily accessible) and, also, provides a static link to the database (via the Evernote login page) which can be easily referenced in intranet web pages and other applications.

Users can be assigned read-only permission or, alternately, assigned full authority to modify the contents of the policies and procedures. Should an employee leave the organization, the employee's login authority can be easily removed -- which would also remove any access to the data from the employee's personal Evernote database, if it were previously linked.

Whenever a change to the database is implemented, a simple click can send an email to any or all users, notifying them of the exact change which has occurred -- keeping them up-to-date on all changes in the policies and/or procedures which control their day-to-day jobs.

Data remains secure and backed up, and previous versions of a policy are maintained by the Evernote servers for future reference, if necessary.

Policies being discussed and not yet implemented should be located in a separate notebook, where interested parties might all have "edit" capabilities. This would segregate the "policies under development" from the "final, approved polices." Writers might desire to use highlighting in unique colors, cross-referenced to footnotes at the end of the document, to include comments for general discussion. When the policy/procedure is fully written and approved, it can be easily dragged to the production-notebook shared by all users -- with an email sent to all users indicating the presence of the new policy/procedure. When dragged to the new folder, I understand the security of the document would automatically change, inheriting the security of the new notebook. This means that users who had "edit" capabilities during the development phase of the policy might have "read-only" permission once the document moves to the permanent notebook.

Finally, it seems that users with "edit" capabilities also have the ability to also "delete" the document. Deleting the document seems to remove all history that the document ever existed. However, with policy/procedure manuals it would be necessary to maintain non-active policies for several years for future reference, and in the event the organization needs to defend itself against lawsuits. Therefore, inactive policies can easily be dragged to a notebook entitled "Policies, Inactive" which will maintain a reference copy of the old policies.

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Hey Folks. How do you guys use shared notebooks? Anyone use them for Team Collaboration and Marketing?

Hi Lindsey,

I work for a company that sells tour and attraction tickets online. We have a core team of 6 people and a couple more on contract as needed. We used other tools to keep our Knowledge Base (KB) of information but it was never solid. The tools we had were inconvenient, unruly, and not good at searching for answers. When I found Evernote I had to bring it to the team and they were so impressed it was only 2 days later that we started importing KB articles... even before we understood much about it!

Now we each have individual accounts for personal information - I mean, anyone who uses Evernote and doesn't go "all out" with it is missing a wonderful thing, IMO. Besides our individual accounts we have one corporate account that contains all our KB articles in a single notebook with about 30 tags. It could be done differently but this is what works best for us. This notebook is then shared to all the team members with modify privileges so we can each update and add to the sum or our corporate knowledge.

All it takes is for me to click on Shared Notebooks and I have access to "everything we know"! Like any company we have to remind everyone from time to time to update Evernote. I'm the worst... every time someone says something new or that something changed I'll say "Is it in Evernote?" They get tired of hearing it but it makes a difference. Without commitment the process will break down but that is true of any process, especially one consisting of several people. The other thing is I have to remind them to search Evernote before going to ask another team member. If I can get these two things into everyday practice we will be running at peak performance.

The shortcomings of this method are:

1. Tags can not be added by team members. This is also a benefit in that it keeps us from having an exploding number of tags.

2. The web experience is slightly different than the (Mac) client I use. A small thing but for some it is important.

Overall, the shared notebook is an awesome tool for our company to store all of our information - things like suppliers, marketing, pricing, programming, customer service, useful articles in the trade, etc. Without Evernote we would not have the information at hand that we do.

To answer your other question, we have not used Evernote for collaboration. The boss is still partial to Google Docs for some reason but there is nothing there that we can't emulate in Evernote for our needs. We occasionally have outside contractors do work for us and I can see that a shared Evernote notebook for each project would be super. We would have permanent records and could share with the contractor for any collaboration that needs to be done "on paper".

Now if I can just talk the boss into springing for the Sponsored Groups purchase! (Honestly, Evernote is invaluable to me and I don't begrudge the low cost of the Premium account!)

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WR Briggs. This is amazing! What's your Twitter handle? I'd like to share this. Thanks!

USING EVERNOTE AS A PAPERLESS POLICY/PROCEDURE MANUAL

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

Policies are the highest-level guidance existing in an organization. Policies describe either the entity's core operational principles or specify a broad course of action. Policies differ from procedures in that the latter specifies the steps required to achieve policy. Think about the function of the U.S. Constitution which describes the broad policies under which the Federal government operates. Contrast the Constitution with Federal Law which implements the policies contained within the Constitution.

For example, one policy which all organizations must have is a statement that the organization will not discriminate. In addition to the policy statement, the organization should list the specific steps ("procedures") to ensure it is not discriminating against the protected classes of employees (or clients/customers).

Procedures vary widely among organizations and, many times, within a single organization. If an organization operates in different states, for example, different laws could apply; therefore, the organization might need separate procedures for each of its facilities. Some states follow the Federal guidelines in defining the so-called "protected classes" (those classes of employees which can legally make a discrimination claim), while other states expand on the Federal Law and include other protected classes. The Federal minimum wage laws, similarly, are often expanded by the State.

Similarly, some states require an employer to pay its employees for the time off work to vote in elections. Other states consider time required to vote as unpaid leave. In this example, the policy should state that the employer supports employees who need time-off from work in order to vote, but the procedure (the steps required to achieve the policy) will vary due to the state employed, shift schedules, and the like.

Many organizations choose to include a policy stating that its financial statements will be presented in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. However, there should also be a listing of procedures required to achieve that goal. Policies against workplace harassment, vacation time, and company-observed holidays will likewise be supplemented by more-detailed procedure statements.

In larger organizations, or those controlled by a Board of Directors, the Board or top-level Management often establishes the policies, leaving the procedures (steps required to achieve those policies) to be written and implemented by lower-level executives or managers. Well-written policies should rarely need changing or updating, but procedures might be updated more frequently.

Dividing the organization's policies from its procedures helps the executives or top-level managers focus on broad objectives, the "big picture," and helps eliminate the tendency of upper-level management to micro-manage. The most successful organizations employ executives and top-level managers who focus on achieving long-term goals and broad objectives -- including the "policies" -- and delegate the implementation of "procedures" to lower-level managers.

The organization's policies should be broad and applicable across-the-board to all employees (or, in some cases, the organization's customers, clients, etc.). Should there ever be need to write a "policy" which is not applicable to everyone in the organization (limited to professional drivers, or accountants, or sales persons, for example), that "policy" is better classified as a "procedure."

In addition to a Policy Manual and Procedure Manual(s), some companies may require a Human Resource Manual to help employees understand what services the HR Department offers, or an Employee Benefit Manual, or specific manuals describing how to accomplish a particular job within the organization.

Footnotes at the end of each policy and procedure statement are always useful, especially over time. Staff will change; laws change. Some policies will become outdated. It is always helpful to have ample footnotes describing which Law or Board decision the policy is addressing, the name of the person who wrote the policy, the date(s) the policy was written, approved by the Board or Management, or the effective date of the policy and the dates and by whom the policy was modified. Helpful as well would be the habit of using footnotes to cross-reference procedures to the controlling policy, or vice-versa.

Finally, the most successful companies are those whose policies are relevant, presented in a written form, readily accessible and frequently relied upon as guidance in day-to-day decision-making. Even the best-written policy manual, when filed away on a shelf in the executive office suite, will accomplish absolutely nothing.

IMPLEMENTING A PAPERLESS POLICY MANUAL USING EVERNOTE

With cross-platform implementation, cloud-based storage, extreme flexibility, and universal access, Evernote software is uniquely positioned to accomplish the tasks of developing, implementing, and maintaining the various policy and procedure manuals necessary within a successful organization. Data may be accessed through desktop computers, laptops, cellphones and tablet computers. Developing organizational manuals on Evernote consumes no paper nor ink -- but the manuals can be easily printed by any user, even at remote locations, when required.

Polices and procedures can be organized in a single notebook (or multiple notebooks) then subsequently shared (via an emailed link) to those employees who have need to access the policies. Use a single notebook if all employees should have access to all documents in that notebook, or use multiple notebooks to control which employees have access to particular documents.

(Individual notes may also be "shared" but that "sharing" is in a different sense -- it means the note may be emailed or otherwise transmitted by the user. The note-level sharing function has nothing to do with the notebook-level sharing -- which provides security and allows the user to access or change the policy database.)

At time of sharing, the organization can decide whether to require the employee to utilize an Evernote account to access the data (which provides greater security), or access the data via a direct link. Requiring the employee to use an Evernote account seems to be the preferred implementation, allowing employees to attach the shared notebook to their own personal database (making it more-easily accessible) and, also, provides a static link to the database (via the Evernote login page) which can be easily referenced in intranet web pages and other applications.

Users can be assigned read-only permission or, alternately, assigned full authority to modify the contents of the policies and procedures. Should an employee leave the organization, the employee's login authority can be easily removed -- which would also remove any access to the data from the employee's personal Evernote database, if it were previously linked.

Whenever a change to the database is implemented, a simple click can send an email to any or all users, notifying them of the exact change which has occurred -- keeping them up-to-date on all changes in the policies and/or procedures which control their day-to-day jobs.

Data remains secure and backed up, and previous versions of a policy are maintained by the Evernote servers for future reference, if necessary.

Policies being discussed and not yet implemented should be located in a separate notebook, where interested parties might all have "edit" capabilities. This would segregate the "policies under development" from the "final, approved polices." Writers might desire to use highlighting in unique colors, cross-referenced to footnotes at the end of the document, to include comments for general discussion. When the policy/procedure is fully written and approved, it can be easily dragged to the production-notebook shared by all users -- with an email sent to all users indicating the presence of the new policy/procedure. When dragged to the new folder, I understand the security of the document would automatically change, inheriting the security of the new notebook. This means that users who had "edit" capabilities during the development phase of the policy might have "read-only" permission once the document moves to the permanent notebook.

Finally, it seems that users with "edit" capabilities also have the ability to also "delete" the document. Deleting the document seems to remove all history that the document ever existed. However, with policy/procedure manuals it would be necessary to maintain non-active policies for several years for future reference, and in the event the organization needs to defend itself against lawsuits. Therefore, inactive policies can easily be dragged to a notebook entitled "Policies, Inactive" which will maintain a reference copy of the old policies.

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I'm working on developing my photography business and I set up a shared notebook with the marketing consultant I'm working with to create my brand and design my business materials (business cards, thank you notes, web design, etc). We share ideas and web clippings so that we can review what we are working on and collaborate to build out the branding.

For my day job, I run a team of Courseware Developers who create training materials for the software applications developed by our company. We store all of the information about our training servers on EN. Each server gets its own notebook and notes for all of the system specifications and software settings for that server. As we install the application to be trained on, we update the note to provide details like student ids and passwords, and where the software was installed. It allows us to quickly review settings during a class delivery in case we run into any issues.

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I completely agree with the sentiment that I hope that there will be shared tags in the future. I really don't like having to copy a note for sharing into two notebooks. Thank you very much!

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Hello all:

Is anyone using Evernote with their CPA/bookkeeper/tax preparer and willing to give us a glimpse into their workflow? I'm a tiny business and am going to have the bite the bullet and get a CPA this year to help me with my taxes. ALL my biz receipts, copies of invoices, etc etc. are in Evernote. It would be SO easy to just share a notebook with my CPA and call it a day. (Actually, to echo the sentiment above, it would be ideal to share certain TAGS with my CPA, as the notes find themselves in several various notebooks which make sense for my workflow right now, but will have to be consolidated into a single notebook to share with the CPA. But still...sharing through EN is the way to go here.)

Anyone doing the successfully and want to share? Including CPAs who have instituted it with their clients? Thank you.

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Karenjs,

I'm an IT Services provider. I'm just getting started with using EN and am seeing a plethora of solutions to problems I was not even aware of, yet. I especially like the syncing options across multiple devices and platforms. My intended use of EN is actually quite simple. I want to use it for my practice management solution. All interactions with clients are documented inside EN into a sub notebook for that client/prospect/lead/etc. One thing I see missing for me to do this is the lack of a default form/template for creating the notes in a way that is consistent and easy to organize by.

As for work flow, well, I got a plan for that, you see. ;-)

My plan is actually quite simple, through out the day, I document, using EN, everything I do, that day. Every phone call, every e-mail, each bit of work I do for my clients. All these go into one notebook throughout the day. At the end of the day, I will take all that information, parse it into the sub-notebooks for each client. I also identify what notes represent invoices that need to be created. I can copy and paste exactly everything I did for the client right into the invoice editor, with all my notes and reference links, etc.

The absolute most beautiful part of this plan is that a competing colleague of mine is wanting to do the same thing. With the shared notebook options, we each can cover the other for busy days, outages, emergencies and even the much desired 'day off'. Everything we need to know about each other's clients is right there. On our laptops, tablets and/or phones.

Now, if only I could get a template system put together the way I am visualizing. KustomNote.com is 'okay', but really does not provide the full reality of what I need. As an example, if I need to take a picture of an install or cabling job or attach a screen capture, I can not. Which is why I am anxiously awaiting an EN native template solution.

In the mean time, I am progressing forward, without templates. Which is giving me an idea of what fields I need in a template, as I tend to forget some details, as I work.

I hope this perspective helps.

Daniel

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Hey Karen. I don't want to sound like I'm selling to you here, but my partner Joshua Zerkel, the productivity ambassador actually wrote an amazing chapter on accounting our new book INTEGRATE: Evernote. It's worth a look. I will tell you that I have used shared notebooks to share with my accountant for the past two years and it has been such a gratifying experience!

Hello all:

Is anyone using Evernote with their CPA/bookkeeper/tax preparer and willing to give us a glimpse into their workflow? I'm a tiny business and am going to have the bite the bullet and get a CPA this year to help me with my taxes. ALL my biz receipts, copies of invoices, etc etc. are in Evernote. It would be SO easy to just share a notebook with my CPA and call it a day. (Actually, to echo the sentiment above, it would be ideal to share certain TAGS with my CPA, as the notes find themselves in several various notebooks which make sense for my workflow right now, but will have to be consolidated into a single notebook to share with the CPA. But still...sharing through EN is the way to go here.)

Anyone doing the successfully and want to share? Including CPAs who have instituted it with their clients? Thank you.

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Hey Karen. I don't want to sound like I'm selling to you here, but my partner Joshua Zerkel, the productivity ambassador actually wrote an amazing chapter on accounting our new book INTEGRATE: Evernote. It's worth a look. I will tell you that I have used shared notebooks to share with my accountant for the past two years and it has been such a gratifying experience!

Actually, I appreciate the heads-up on the book and the blog. I see a lot of books targeted to new users, and that's not me, but I am always interested in workflow and other-app integration topics.. So I'll check it out. Thanks!

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